Implementing a successful annual ryegrass (ARG) management program is more than recommending one pre-emergent herbicide over another, it’s knowing the farmer has the adequate time and resources to manage whatever the season might produce in various cereal crops.
It’s also ensuring there are in-crop strategies to manage seed set and ideally, a harvest weed-seed control program in place.
Crop choice will also play a part in the roll out of this strategy.
Syngenta senior portfolio lead for Selective Herbicides Garth Wickson acknowledged there are several pre-emergent herbicides advisors might recommend for the season ahead in wheat, not all of them are suited to barley or variable seasonal conditions.
“There’s been a lot of discussion about the price of different pre-ems lately and while that’s important, there’s a lot to be said for flexibility and efficacy.
“Recommending a program that is readily compatible with different cereal crops and lower rainfall, gives growers vital flexibility in application and sowing, helping deliver results and tremendous value,” he said.
Mr Wickson said this dry start compatibility was due to the dual actives in Boxer Gold herbicide; a combination of prosulfocarb (low volatility) and s-metolachlor (soluble and mobile) meaning Boxer Gold requires minimal soil moisture at incorporation, resulting in optimal uptake at the target sites. He said this low volatility is a key advantage over Trifluralin products, meaning growers have up to seven days to incorporate their Boxer Gold herbicide application with little decline in efficacy.
“That flexibility is vital when anything can happen on the farm. It provides added peace of mind that we’re still going to see excellent efficacy in sub-optimal conditions or when that incorporation is delayed,” Mr Wickson said.
While wheat will be the predominant focus for many growers, barley and oats represent two excellent alternatives.
“With Boxer Gold being registered in barley, growers can achieve the same excellent results that they have seen in wheat, without MRL concerns in key export markets.
“Having the ability to use Boxer Gold in barley and even oats - a new label extension - creates extra value for growers who are yet to lock in their paddock plans for the year ahead, helping to simplify our spray programs and avoid confusion about which pre-em is being used in different crops.”
He said successful weed management can be difficult enough without the added worry of remaining on-label, which can be even more challenging in cropping programs with numerous crops in the rotation.
“With some very attractive fourth quarter pricing on offer now, growers can lock-in a price that’s giving them peace of mind for the season ahead.
“So whatever pans out with commodity prices and other inputs, they’ve got the flexibility in their program… this includes the flexibility of a 6-month plant-back period on all susceptible crops, unlike other products.”
With tri-uptake, mainly through the mesocotyl and some translocation through leaves and roots, Boxer Gold is able to control surface-germinating and deeper germinating weeds. This can also support different spray timings based on the needs of growers, including IBS (incorporated by sowing), PSPE (post-sowing pre-emergent), split use patterns (IBS/PSPE) and even EPE (early post-emergent).
“We see the vast majority of Boxer Gold used IBS where growers will get the most consistent performance on their annual ryegrass but they have that flexibility of the alternate timings including PSPE or EPE where furrow-wall weed management is desirable.
“Quite commonly we see a low rate of trifluralin mixed with Boxer Gold for wireweed control; so 800 mL/ha of trifluralin plus 2.5 L/ha of Boxer Gold gives you robust control of ryegrass and wireweed.”
For broadleaf management Mr Wickson suggested advisors consider Callisto as a pre-emergent tank mix partner.
“It really broadens the spectrum of weeds we can manage, delivering grass and broadleaf control in one pass. This can really take the pressure off growers, extending that period between crop emergence and the need to make a post-emergent spray by managing weed densities.”
Syngenta is a gold sponsor of WeedSmart, which supports holistic, science-backed weed control solutions to growers and advisors for long-term productivity in Australian agriculture.
Mr Wickson said Boxer Gold represented outstanding value, flexibility and efficacy, while being an important part of a well-round ARG management program.
“Employing non-herbicide based integrated weed management techniques will considerably increase the longevity of all herbicides; the fewer weeds we allow to set seed means we can drive down the weed seed bank, resulting in fewer weeds in our paddocks and much lower odds of any survivors conferring resistance to various herbicide modes of action,” he said.
Besides the registration in in wheat, barley and oats, Boxer Gold is also registered in chickpeas, faba beans, lentils and lupins, and potatoes.